Former Aurora Police Officer Faces Sentencing After Elijah McClain’s Death

AURORA, Colo. (AP) — Former Aurora police officer Randy Roedema will be sentenced for his role in the 2019 death of Elijah McClain. In October, an Adams County jury convicted Roedema of criminally negligent homicide and third-degree assault for his actions in McClain’s death. Roedema was among five first responders indicted in the case and could face a sentence ranging from probation up to six years in state prison.

Legal analyst Scott Robinson mentioned that Roedema’s prior criminal history, or lack thereof, will weigh in his favor during the sentencing. However, the prosecution is expected to push for jail time, if not prison time. Judge Mark Warner could also potentially hand down a sentence that combines probation with time in the county jail.

Roedema, along with fellow officers Nathan Woodyard and Jason Rosenblatt, stopped, restrained, and subdued McClain in August 2019 after a 911 caller reported that he was wearing a ski mask and seemed “sketchy.” The struggle intensified after Roedema alleged that McClain tried to grab Rosenblatt’s gun, an assertion that prosecutors repeatedly questioned during the trial.

Multiple medical experts testified that the struggle with police left McClain in a vulnerable state, and two Aurora Fire Rescue paramedics later injected McClain with an overdose of the sedative ketamine, which was blamed for ultimately causing his death.

Interim Aurora Police Chief Art Acevedo fired Roedema after his conviction. Rosenblatt, who was acquitted, had previously been fired for his response to a photo mocking McClain, while Woodyard, who was also acquitted, has begun the process of returning to the police force.

Cooper and Cichuniec, the paramedics involved in the case, were both found guilty of criminally negligent homicide as well. They are scheduled to be sentenced on March 1, with potential sentences ranging from probation up to 16 years in prison.